The EPP Group Presidency visited the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands today to see for themselves how the Dutch authorities are protecting Europe’s external border and fighting against drug-related and organised crime.
EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber believes that the fight against organised crime will be a new frontier in European cooperation in the years to come: “We need a real European crime fighting mentality, not just a national one. The drugs economy in Europe is undermining our societies and polluting our economies and institutions. And if drug criminals are not limited by borders, then our crime fighters should not be limited by them either. That's why we want a specialised European police force in Europol and Interpol to enforce our laws and fight drug crimes all over Europe.”
The visit also looked at the situation of the external border in the context of Brexit. Host of the vist to Rotterdam, EPP Group Vice-Chairwoman Esther de Lange MEP, said: “Europe’s external border is our common responsibility, and it is relevant in the south and the east, but also in the north and west. It is a precondition for effective migration and asylum policy and a major EPP Group priority for the next European elections. Member States have been asking for stronger border protection for years, so now it is time to deliver. We need concrete actions, and that means agreeing on at least 10,000 border guards to do the job. Control over our borders and our territory is what citizens want from Europe.”
The EPP Group leadership set out its priorities in Rotterdam for the European elections and reaffirmed its commitment to the Spitzenkandidaten process. “But let us be clear: these elections should not be about who gets which job after the elections, it is about the best ideas for the future and getting a mandate from the voters and a majority in the European Parliament to change Europe and make it better”, Manfred Weber concluded.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 28 Member States